HIGH CONCEPT - LOW RESOLUTION
Art in the '60s in Argentina
In the 1960s, institutions such as, the Institutute Torcuato Di Tella (founded in 1958) and Bonino Gallery, built important cultural bridges with Argentine artists and the local interpretations of the artistic vanguards. Other institutions that joined this cultural exchange were the Guggenheim Scholarships, the American Biennials of Art in Cordoba, the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires and the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires.
After World War II, various artists began to explore, within the abstraction field, an art in which the body's commitment to pictorial action took a stage role. So did the use of non-pictorial and "ordinary" material. This movement was called Informalism. In informalism the expression was opposed to geometry and resorted to free forms and authomatism. It was essential to break with the "aesthetic problems", to find freedom in the uncontrolled action and in the total spontaneity of expression.
In response to the movement of abstract expressionism of the second half of the twentieth century, by 1960 a suggested figuration arose. The material elements of the preceding movement are mantained with the incorporation of the form. The expression was represented with plenty of matter and collage. The figure entailed a true jubilation to eliminate the composition, the order, the relations, the light, and the shadows. This New Figuration would consolidate in Argentina in the exhibition at the Gallery Bonino in 1961.
As developed from linguistics, the ideas of Semiotics translate into visual images in this decade. Pop Art emerges as a communicative resource in an era where consumption begins to be part of a new subjectivity. In Pop Art, the meanings attributed to images are not a "natural" result of what we see; that is, the images are not obvious and universal in how we understand what we see. By 1960s, art was expressed in a conceptual way of describing not only reality, but also of generating discourses and promoting a certain way of thinking. At the dawn of the era of individualism, the conceptual content of these works is turned into an effect that transforms the experience and independent thinking.
In their defiant quest, artists such as Kenneth Kemble surpassed the poetic assumptions of informalism in the 1961 “Destructive Art” exhibition. For them, creation and destruction were aspects of the same reality. Opposites presented themselves harmoniously. William Gordon's (Synectics, The Development of Creative Capacity, NY, Harpers, 1961) theories on the Synectics inspire the creation of many works. This term indicates the union of different element, seemingly alien to each other, and thus investigates the idea of a certain order between opposite and random compositions. The underlying psychological mechanisms of non-rational and free association would be what some artists would use to provoke the formative process of a new body of work.
The enthusiasm for new currents of expression in the '60 promoted by the same local institutions that allowed its formation, was reflected in international exhibitions. The works by artists such as Sarah Grilo, Kazuya Sakai, María Martorell, Kenneth Kemble, José Antonio Fernández Muro, Rogelio Polesello, Cesar Paternosto and Alejandro Puente among others, changed the vision that the world had on Latin American artists.